Michael Schenker Fest, The Agonist + More
Here are some of the albums that come out today.
Michael Schenker Fest – Revelation
I am still a huge fan of a lot of what Michael has done, from U.F.O. to his first two solo albums, and two out of the three McAuley Schenker albums. I still play a lot of his music on a frequent basis. But I have to admit that I lost interest after that third McAuley Schenker album as things seem to become paint by numbers with each of his releases.
I know there were a ton of people that loved the first Michael Schenker Fest album Resurrection. Although the playing and vocals are great, it sort of ticking off all the boxes you would expect from everyone involved, but little else.
I can still listen to unexpected gems like “Eve” or “Paradise” off of the self-titled McAuley Schenker album and think that those songs are timeless. Save Yourself was a letdown for me, I didn’t think they could recover from that nose dive. But, they did, and of course, I went into this album thinking, well, he’s recovered before, why not now?
Again, If you loved Resurrection, you’ll love Revelation. It’s a continuation of what they did on that album, and it’s rudimentary 80s hard rock, no more no less. Both albums are better than some of what Michael has released in the past.
The cast of characters involved is out of this world. But, for me, the last two Graham Bonnet Band releases, The Book and Meanwhile, Back At The Garage, are filled with fire, passion, and bite. That’s exactly what these two Michael Schenker Fest albums are missing.
Missing are fiery guitar parts that make up classic tracks like “Get Out”, or captivating riffs like “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie”. For me, there is nothing on the album that ticks that box off.
The Agonist – Orphans
Any type of press is good press right? In recent week’s we’ve all seen the interview clips, rebuttals, and headlines that come along every time The Agonist release a new album.
Regardless of any actual drama that may exist, the band continues to plow ahead and get sonically better. They continue to progress in all aspects of their songwriting.
The guitars are more elaborate, and this seems to be the album where Vicky Psarakis really puts her stamp on the band. She seamlessly switches up vocal styles and making die-hards forget of that other singer they once had.
Kobra And The Lotus – Evolution
The Canadian band has been around for quite some time. Although they have been toeing the line between classic heavy metal/power metal, this title points to their change in direction.
Where a band like Lacuna Coil has gotten progressively heavier with time, it seems as if Kobra And The Lotus have gone in the opposite direction. The first single “Burn” is a modern-day hard rock scorcher.
Kobra Paige’s vocals are still as powerful and in your face as ever. But this is definitely a lot more hooky and radio-friendly than what they’ve done in the past.
Exhorder – Mourn The Southern Skies
Was it the Chicken or the egg? Did Exhorder influence Pantera, or did they steal from the band? Did one have the luxury of a label like Atco/Atlantic, while the other was on a much smaller Roadrunner Records at the time?
The debate will go on and on forever, but the one certainty is that this is the band’s first full-length studio album since 1992’s The Law. The only two members from the original lineup are lead singer Kyle Thomas, and guitarist Vinnie LaBella.
Everyone else came aboard in 2017, including Thomas’ Heavy As Texas bandmate Marzi Montazeri. The album is heavy and angry; it mixes a perfect blend of old school thrash, with new school production values. If you’re a fan of the band’s first two albums, you’ll more than likely love Mourn The Southern Skies as well.
Snow Burial – Ostrava
The Chicago three-piece started out as Oxblood, Ostrava is their second full length under the Snow Burial name, and first on Prosthetic Records.
Monolord – No Comfort
This Swedish trio also debuts on a new label, for them it’s Relapse. This album might be for you if you’re into fuzzed-out sludge, and love Ozzyesque vocal hooks and melodies.
Here are some of the other releases that come out today that may interest you.
Liam Gallagher – Why Me? Why Not.
Blink-182 – Nine
As I Lay Dying – Shaped By Fire
Cult Of Luna – A Dawn To Fear
Kadavar – For The Dead Travel Fast
The Number Twelve Looks Like You – Wild Gods
Mudhoney – Morning in America EP
Ramones – It’s Alive: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Disturbed – Believe Vinyl
Serj Tankian – Elect The Dead Symphony Vinyl
Motionless In White – When Love Met Destruction Vinyl
Melvins – The Maggot/The Bootlicker Vinyl
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – Living The Dream Tour DVD/CD
Toto – 40 Tours Around the Sun
Lee Aaron – Power, Soul, Rock N’ Roll – Live in Germany
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Acoustic & Electric
Article by Victor M. Ruiz of Mars Attacks Radio & Podcast, and Galaxy Of Geeks Podcast. Connect with him on Twitter: @vmr907